All about Kenny Kunene

03 February 2011 - 02:49 By AMUKELANI CHAUKE

If club tycoon and businessman Kenny Kunene hadn't been stopped, he would have gone on to eat sushi from the bodies of Indian and Asian women - "just so I know how different plates taste".

Kunene, or "Mr Sushi" as he is known, said yesterday that he had noted the concerns raised by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and the party's women's league. This week they condemned the serving of sushi on the bodies of scantily clad women.

Speaking to The Times at his Sandton nightclub, ZAR Lounge, Kunene - the father of three children, including one girl - said he decided to stop his sushi parties because he understood the ANC's concerns. He said he was "humbled" by the party's way of dealing with the situation.

"If the ANC had not spoken, I would have had Indian and Chinese girls in Durban. I just wanted to change the plates to see how the sushi tastes from one plate to the other - so South Africans will miss the Indian plates and the Chinese plates," he said, bursting into laughter.

Kunene also said he also would have liked to eat sushi off the bodies of hip-hop star Nicki Minaj and pop icon Lady Gaga. "There are many beautiful girls. Maybe let's say, [ journalist] Debra Patta ... Whether I will enjoy it is another thing."

Patta declined to comment.

Kunene said that, unlike the "unconstructive" criticism he received from Cosatu and other commentators last year, the ANC raised its concerns "constructively".

When Kunene threw his 40th birthday party, at his club in Sandton in October, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi criticised him and the politicians at the bash, calling them members of the "predatory elite" whose actions "turn my stomach".

On Monday, Mantashe said serving sushi on half-naked women's bodies was "defamatory, insensitive and undermining of women's integrity".

On Tuesday, woman's league spokesman Edna Molewa said Kunene's indulgence was "an attack on the bodily integrity and dignity of women in our country".

Said Kunene yesterday: "If you look at the ANC, the women's league and the youth league, they were not playing the man, they were playing the ball.

"And they appealed that, whoever is involved with this, must then disengage. They made an appeal because they recognised my constitutional rights to do whatever I want at any given time, and they recognised that I am not the only one who is enjoying sushi."

Kunene, a former teacher from the small Free State town of Odendaalsrus, denied that he was the only one who enjoyed picking sushi off beautiful bodies. "White ladies were also enjoying sushi off male sushi plates," he said.

"The president of the youth league [Julius Malema] called me and told me that there are concerns that are being raised by the leadership, and 'I think you should apply your mind'. That is when I decided I will stop having parties where there is sushi served off women and men."

However, Kunene said he will not stop throwing "spectacular" parties - his 40th birthday party reportedly cost more than R750000 - and he is determined to throw an opening to remember for his Cape Town ZAR Lounge on February 14.

He also said he was "misunderstood" and declared: "I respect women", adding: "I just wanted to have a spectacular party."

On Saturday, Kunene threw a (sushi-eating) pre-launch bash at Cape Town's Waterfront Studios to announce the opening of his new club. Malema was quoted as saying at the event that the club "belongs to the ANC". The youth league has since said Malema was quoted out of context.

  • The ANC Women's League yesterday welcomed Kunene's announcement.